• Reuters

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Beijing dismissed as “ridiculous” a Harvard Medical School study of hospital traffic and search engine data that suggested the novel coronavirus may already have been spreading in China last August, and scientists said it offered no convincing evidence of when the outbreak began.

The research, which has not been peer-reviewed by other scientists, used satellite imagery of hospital parking lots in Wuhan — where the disease was first identified in late 2019 — and data for symptom-related queries on search engines for terms such as “cough” and “diarrhea.”

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